How do we see ourselves? How do others see us? How do we think other people see us?
This ongoing project evolved from a 1995 photography class where we had to take two full body self portraits. One, how we saw ourselves and the second how we wanted other people to see us. It seemed like a simple self examination but it struck a chord deep inside me. For my project I submitted the first image of me naked(no bits were showing) – that was how I saw myself – open and naked to the world. In hindsight I must have also seen myself as beautiful, but I didn’t feel that way at the time. For my second submission I wanted to be seen as intellectually strong. I wanted to be seen as smart, not pretty. Self love & acceptance among society. Then I wanted to be accepted by my peers but now as I grow older my priorities have changed and I need to practice more self love.
Out of this self awareness and questioning came my projection project as a way to explore how other people grapple with their own identity.
After I explain the project I ask people to write about something personal, it can be anything from their experiences that particular day to something larger going on in their lives. Invariably the pre-shoot discussion steers them towards self identity and exploration. I then photograph what they wrote and project it back onto them producing the final image. Together we explore what they wrote about as I photograph them and we share an experience that I can only describe a profound.